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How is sexuality and chastity related to love?

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How is sexuality and chastity related to love?

KNOWING AND DEEPENING OUR CATHOLIC FAITH: To deepen our faith let us learn more from the teaching of the Church contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). How is sexuality related to love? What is chaste love? Why should a Christian live a chaste life? How can anyone live a chaste life? What can help? Does everybody have to be chaste, even married people? Why is the Church against premarital sexual relations? How can you live as a young Christian if you are living in a premarital relationship or have already had premarital relations?

“A chaste love is a love that defends itself against all the internal and external forces that might destroy it.” Jason Evert demonstrates in Green Sex how chastity is more than abstinence, it’s accepting our sexuality. And accepting our sexuality includes rejecting things harmful to it, like artificial birth control.

How is sexuality related to love?

Sexuality must not be separated from love; they must go together. The sexual encounter requires the framework of a true, dependable love. When sexuality is separated from love and is sought only for the sake of satisfaction, one destroys the meaning of the sexual union of man and woman. Sexual union is the most beautiful bodily, sensual expression of love. People who look for sex without love are lying, because the closeness of their bodies does not correspond to the closeness of their hearts. Someone who does not take his own body language at its word does lasting damage to body and soul. Sex then becomes inhuman; it is degraded to a means of obtaining pleasure and degenerates into a commodity. Only committed, enduring love in marriage creates a space for sexuality that is experienced in a human way and brings lasting happiness.

What is chaste love? Why should a Christian live a chaste life?

A chaste love is a love that defends itself against all the internal and external forces that might destroy it. That person is chaste who has consciously accepted his sexuality and integrated it well into his personality. Chastity and continence are not the same thing. Someone who has an active sex life in marriage must be chaste, too. A person acts chastely when his bodily activity is the expression of dependable, faithful love. Chastity must not be confused with prudishness. A person who lives chastely is not the plaything of his lusts but, rather, lives his sexuality deliberately, motivated by love, and as an expression of that love. Unchaste behavior weakens love and obscures its meaning. The Catholic Church advocates a holisticecological approach to sexuality. This includes sexual pleasure, which is something good and beautiful; personal love; and fruitfulness, which means openness to having children. It is the understanding of the Catholic Church that these three aspects of sexuality belong together. Now if a man has one woman for sexual pleasure, a second to whom he writes love poetry, and a third with whom to have children, then he is exploiting all three and really loves none of them.


 

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How can anyone live a chaste life? What can help?

Someone lives chastely when he is free to be loving and is not the slave of his drives and emotions. Anything, therefore, that helps one to become a more mature, freer, and more loving person and to form better relationships helps that person to love chastely, also. One becomes free to be loving through self-discipline, which one must acquire, practice, and maintain at every stage of life. It is helpful for me in this regard to obey God’s commandments in all situations, to avoid temptations and any form of double life or hypocrisy, and to ask God for protection against temptations and to strengthen me in love. Being able to live out a pure and undivided love is ultimately a grace and a wonderful gift of God.

 

Does everybody have to be chaste, even married people?

Yes, every Christian should be loving and chaste, whether he is young or old, lives alone or is married. Not everyone is called to marriage, but everyone is called to love. We are destined to give our lives away; many do so in the form of marriage, others in the form of voluntary celibacy for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, others by living alone and yet being there for others. All human life finds its meaning in love. To be chaste means to love with an undivided heart. The unchaste person is torn and not free. Someone who loves authentically is free, strong, and good; he can devote himself in love. Thus Christ, who gave himself up completely for us and at the same time devoted himself completely to his Father in heaven, is a model of chastity, because he is the original model of strong love. Chastity is what keeps us holy and clean for the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and immoralities defies the body (temlpe).


 

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Why is the Church against premarital sexual relations?

Because she would like to protect love. A person can give someone else no greater gift than himself . “I love you” means for both: “I want only you, I want all that you are, and I want to give myself to you forever!” Because that is so, we cannot, even with our bodies, really say “I love you” temporarily or on a trial basis. Many people take their premarital relationships seriously. And yet there are two reservations involved that are incompatible with love: the “exit option” and “the fear of a child”. Because love is so great, so sacred, and so unique, the Church teaches young people the obligation to wait until they are married before they start to have sexual relations. In other words, keep away from sexual immoralities. This is one of the fundamental teachings of the Church.

How can you live as a young Christian if you are living in a premarital relationship or have already had premarital relations?

God loves us at every moment, in every “complicated” situation, even in a state of sin. God helps us to seek the whole truth about love and to find ways to live it more and more unambiguously and decisively. In a conversation with a priest or a reliable, experienced Christian, young people can look for a way to live out their love with increasing integrity. They will learn that every life is a process and that, whatever has happened, they can make a new beginning with God’s help.


 

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The Accidental Marriage

The Accidental Marriage

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